Baldwin finally receives its fair share

Posted 4/22/21

For decades Baldwin County has paid the tab for much of Alabama.

Our beaches and tourist areas bring in millions in tax revenue that has often been used everywhere but in Baldwin County. That …

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Baldwin finally receives its fair share

Posted

For decades Baldwin County has paid the tab for much of Alabama.

Our beaches and tourist areas bring in millions in tax revenue that has often been used everywhere but in Baldwin County. That money has funded much needed projects in other parts of the state while Baldwin is left to address many of its needs without the benefit of the funds it brings in.

As Baldwin County continues to be the fastest-growing county in the state with 27.79 percent growth since 2011, our needs are growing too.

Each year that population boost includes roughly 500 new children in the Baldwin County School system. These children need supplies, desks, teachers and books. Each year the state’s Foundation Program helps to fund schools.

The money allocated, however, is based on the previous year’s enrollment numbers, meaning Baldwin County is short every year, by a lot. There are no state or federal funds to cover the gap. Instead, school systems must find a way to make ends meet.

And again, Baldwin County is penalized for being, well, the best.

Sen. Chris Elliott (R -Daphne) made sure Baldwin County was no longer stretched thin at the beginning of each school year by leading the effort to have those monies allocated to schools based on the current enrollment numbers.

Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill into law last week.

The bill calls for the funding to use a formula taking the year over year growth for the two preceding school years and apply an adjustment factor based on the current state funding per student. For a net cost of $11.9 million, the 6,474 currently underfunded students would receive equitable state funding just like every other Alabama student.

Local school officials have hailed the change as a much-needed boost for growing systems like Baldwin. The results will be instant. Those funds which account for every Baldwin student, beginning with the new fiscal year in October, will help provide 25 – 30 classroom teachers in Baldwin County schools.

Under Senator Elliott’s bill, Baldwin County students will finally receive an equitable share of State Funding.

We thank Sen. Elliott for working to better life in Baldwin and around the state.